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First glimpse of polarons forming in a promising next-gen energy material. Polarons are fleeting distortions in a material's atomic lattice that form around a moving electron in a few trillionths of a second, then quickly disappear.

First glimpse of polarons forming in a promising next-gen energy material

As ephemeral as they are, they affect a material's behavior, and may even be the reason that solar cells made with lead hybrid perovskites achieve extraordinarily high efficiencies in the lab. Now scientists at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University have used the lab's X-ray laser to watch and directly measure the formation of polarons for the first time.

They reported their findings in Nature Materials today. "These materials have taken the field of solar energy research by storm because of their high efficiencies and low cost, but people still argue about why they work," said Aaron Lindenberg, an investigator with the Stanford Institute for Materials and Energy Sciences (SIMES) at SLAC and associate professor at Stanford who led the research. Exciting, complex and hard to understand. Let's celebrate the 240th Birthday of Mary Somerville, the world's first "Scientist"

Today we celebrate the 240th birthday of Mary Fairfax Somerville (Dec 26,1780 – Nov 29, 1872) the Scottish polymath, scientist and science writer extraordinaire.

Let's celebrate the 240th Birthday of Mary Somerville, the world's first "Scientist"

In an era with great men of science but few women, in an era where the pursuit of science was highly specialized and accessible only to a few, she pioneered the art of presenting science in words that were engaging and accessible to a wide audience. She was the first popular science writer and a mathematician and scientist in her own right. The word scientist was coined for her. About Mary Somerville. 'The platypuses were glowing': the secret light of Australia's marsupials. Dr Kenny Travouillon turned off the lights and headed straight for the shelf holding the stuffed platypus, armed with an ultraviolet torch to test something out.

'The platypuses were glowing': the secret light of Australia's marsupials

Would the monotreme glow? “All the platypuses were glowing,” says Travouillon, the mammals curator at the Western Australian Museum in Perth. “We went through with other mammals and we found they were glowing too.” Scientists discover what enables conscious thought and feeling. In the study, macaque monkeys were put under using a general anesthetic.

Scientists discover what enables conscious thought and feeling

When the researchers applied small electrical pulses to the monkey brains, and at a specific frequency, the animals were revived and alert within just a couple of seconds. Inverse is counting down the 20 stories redefining 'human' from 2020. This is number 12. Astronomers detect possible radio emission from exoplanet. By monitoring the cosmos with a radio telescope array, a Cornell University-led international team of scientists has detected radio bursts emanating from the constellation Boötes.

Astronomers detect possible radio emission from exoplanet

The signal could be the first radio emission collected from a planet beyond our solar system. The team, led by Cornell postdoctoral researcher Jake D. Turner, Philippe Zarka of the Observatoire de Paris—Paris Sciences et Lettres University and Jean-Mathias Griessmeier of the Université d'Orléans published their findings in the forthcoming research section of the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, on Dec. 16. "We present one of the first hints of detecting an exoplanet in the radio realm," Turner said. "The signal is from the Tau Boötes system, which contains a binary star and an exoplanet. Scientists Analysed Twinkies Kept in a Basement For 8 Years, And Got a Surprise. When Colin Purrington tweeted photos of his eight-year-old Twinkies, he caught the attention of fungi researchers.The researchers analyzed Purrington's Twinkies and found that mold had colonized them.Their findings kill the myth that Twinkies last forever.

Scientists Analysed Twinkies Kept in a Basement For 8 Years, And Got a Surprise

Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Matthew Kasson usually studies fungi that sicken trees and wipe out crops. But lately, he's gotten into moldy desserts. EmDrive: Is It Possible? Can It Work for Space Travel? Andrey SuslovGetty Images A lingering, improbable concept called the EmDrive says it moves itself without fuel.DARPA funding caused a fresh news cycle and drew attention to the inexplicable design.Momentum without a catalyst or an output violates a fundamental law of physics.

EmDrive: Is It Possible? Can It Work for Space Travel?

A moonshot propulsion device called the EmDrive promises an extremely fast, physics-defying way to travel in space. But many critics say this impossible drive is just offering hot air. Is there actually hope for the EmDrive, and can we learn anything from its far-out concept? The Mystery of The Platypus Deepens With The Discovery of Its Biofluorescent Fur. Scientists are seeing the Australian platypus in a whole new light.

The Mystery of The Platypus Deepens With The Discovery of Its Biofluorescent Fur

Under an ultraviolet lamp, this bizarre-looking creature appears even more peculiar than normal, glowing a soft, greenish-blue hue instead of the typical brown we're used to seeing. Quanta Magazine. Twitter. Scientists Just Reported The First Unambiguous Detection of Water on The Moon. It's official.

Scientists Just Reported The First Unambiguous Detection of Water on The Moon

There's water on the Moon. We've thought that there was for over a decade, based on detections described back in 2009, but there was room for interpretation in the wavelengths used. New nuclear engine concept could help realize 3-month trips to Mars. Seattle-based Ultra Safe Nuclear Technologies (USNC-Tech) has developed a concept for a new Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) engine and delivered it to NASA.

New nuclear engine concept could help realize 3-month trips to Mars

Claimed to be safer and more reliable than previous NTP designs and with far greater efficiency than a chemical rocket, the concept could help realize the goal of using nuclear propulsion to revolutionize deep space travel, reducing Earth-Mars travel time to just three months. Because chemical rockets are already near their theoretical limits and electric space propulsion systems have such low thrust, rocket engineers continue to seek ways to build more efficient, more powerful engines using some variant of nuclear energy. If properly designed, such nuclear rockets could have several times the efficiency of the chemical variety. The problem is to produce a nuclear reactor that is light enough and safe enough for use outside the Earth's atmosphere – especially if the spacecraft is carrying a crew.

3D printed tissues and organs without the scaffolding. Engineered tissues and organs have been grown with various degrees of success in labs for many years. Many of them have used a scaffolding approach where cells are seeded onto biodegradable supportive structures that provide the underlying architecture of the organ or tissue desired. But scaffolds can be problematic -- ultimately, they should degrade and disappear, but timing that decomposition to coincide with the maturation of the organ is tricky, and sometimes degradation byproducts can be toxic. Driver of the largest mass extinction in the history of the Earth identified. Life on Earth has a long, but also an extremely turbulent history. On more than one occasion, the majority of all species became extinct and an already highly developed biodiversity shrank to a minimum again, changing the course of evolution each time.

The most extensive mass extinction took place about 252 million years ago. It marked the end of the Permian Epoch and the beginning of the Triassic Epoch. Genetic Factor Discovery Enables Adult Skin to Regenerate Like a Newborn Baby’s. An image of a regenerating skin wound with hair follicles that can make goose bumps. The green lines are the muscles attached to individual regenerating hairs so that they can stand up. Credit: Washington State University A newly identified genetic factor allows adult skin to repair itself like the skin of a newborn babe. The discovery by Washington State University researchers has implications for better skin wound treatment as well as preventing some of the aging process in skin. A new interpretation of quantum mechanics suggests that reality does not depend on the person measuring it. Quantum mechanics arose in the 1920s, and since then scientists have disagreed on how best to interpret it.

Many interpretations, including the Copenhagen interpretation presented by Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg, and in particular, von Neumann-Wigner interpretation, state that the consciousness of the person conducting the test affects its result. On the other hand, Karl Popper and Albert Einstein thought that an objective reality exists. Neuroscientists discover a molecular mechanism that allows memories to form. Current Poll Results: Catalysts of Change. Quanta Magazine. The idea sounds like magic, pure and simple.

The EmDrive Just Won't Die. Gravity, Gizmos, and a Grand Theory of Interstellar Travel. Why scientific papers are growing increasingly inscrutable. Entire cities could fit inside the moon's monstrous lava tubes. NASA's Rover Is Taking a Tree-Like Device That Converts CO2 Into Oxygen to Mars. Genetics Research Explains Why Dogs Are Very Good Boys. Fungus Growing at Chernobyl Could Protect Astronauts From Cosmic Rays. Space Shields One of the biggest challenges facing crewed missions to Mars is figuring out how to protect crewmembers from the onslaught of deadly cosmic rays. Now, scientists at a number of universities say there’s growing evidence that an unusual solution could be effective: building shields out of a radiation-absorbing fungus that grows near the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.

New Scientist reports that the fungus was able to block some cosmic rays after a small test on the International Space Station, giving hope for safe space travel in the future. Light Armor. Russian scientists have discovered a new physical paradox. Researchers from the Peter the Great St.Petersburg Polytechnic University (SPbPU) discovered and theoretically explained a new physical effect: amplitude of mechanical vibrations can grow without external influence. Breakthrough Towards Lasers Powerful Enough to Investigate a New Kind of Physics. An international team of researchers has demonstrated an innovative technique for increasing the intensity of lasers. Some Blind People Can Still See, And Their Brains Could Help Explain Consciousness. Results of an Experiment by USC Student May Rewrite Chemistry Textbooks. Math Genius Has Come Up With a Wildly Simple New Way to Solve Quadratic Equations.

Let's Colonize Titan. Meet the plastic-eating bug that could solve our waste problem. Malaria 'completely stopped' by microbe. New molecular insights into how gut bacteria influences memory. 23 Best Easy Science Experiments for Kids - Fun Science Activities and STEM Projects. Quantum Entanglement Offers Unprecedented Precision for GPS, Imaging and Beyond. Dolphins Glow, Swim Through Bioluminescent Waves in California. 10. Tools for the Wolfram Physics Project. Finally We May Have a Path to the Fundamental Theory of Physics… and It’s Beautiful—Stephen Wolfram Writings. Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V. - News. Scientists discover first known animal that doesn't breathe. Scientists Scanned Brains of Bullies and Found Something Grim. Betelgeuse's shenanigans just got weirder: Only *part* of it is dimming. A tiny area of the brain may enable consciousness, says "exhilarating" study. Flavor Networks Reveal Universal Principle Behind Successful Recipes.

The Extraordinary Link Between Deep Neural Networks and the Nature of the Universe. Is sparkling water bad for you? 2 things you probably didn't know. Scientists discovered a weed compound that may be 30 times more powerful than THC. 5 neuroscience reality checks, with Joseph LeDoux. Bizarre ‘dark fluid’ with negative mass could dominate the universe – what my research suggests.

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Researchers find potential solution to overheating mobile phones. Quantum Physics is No More Mysterious Than Crossing the Street: A Conversation with Chris Fuchs. Armored with plastic 'hair' and silica, new perovskite nanocrystals show more durability. The next graphene? Shiny and magnetic, a new form of pure carbon dazzles with potential. Global Warming and Climate Change skepticism examined. Theoretical tubulanes inspire ultrahard polymers.

Tiny artificial sunflowers could be used to harvest solar energy. Council Post: 13 Tech Experts Predict The Next Big Trend In Software Development. Is this “one of the worst scientific scandals of all time”? NASA Engineer Says New Thruster Could Reach 99% Speed of Light. Technical Reports Server (NTRS) - Helical Engine. HOME. Stanford psychology expert: The No. 1 work skill of the future. An important quantum algorithm may actually be a property of nature. This quantum physics breakthrough could be the origin story for time travel. New research supports hypothesis that asteroid contributed to mass extinction.

Machine Uses Algae to Eat CO2. This sleeping octopus twitches in technicolor—but is she dreaming? 40,000-year-old bracelet made by extinct human species found. The surface of a Comet 67P From Rosetta probe. Credit: ESA… Bone, not adrenaline, drives fight or flight response. Twist on ‘survival of the fittest’ could explain how reality emerges from the quantum haze.